BNP to go on Question Time once a year

By Ian Dunt

The British National party (BNP) will appear on Question Time about once a year, the director general of the BBC said today.

Giving evidence to the House of Lords’ communications committee, Mark Thompson said the party was entitled to that level of prominence if it maintained its electoral support.

“The underlying support for the BNP is two to three per cent,” he said.

“In the European elections they got six per cent. This isn’t an absolute, precise science.

“I think you’re talking about a party, if it continued to get that level of support… [in terms of] appearances, that would be no more than one a year and could be less.”

The party could also appear on other BBC politics shows, including BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions, he confirmed.

Last week’s edition of Question Time, in which party leader Nick Griffin appeared, was an unprecedented ratings success for the BBC, with the edition winning eight million viewers – far more than its average two or three million.

Mr Griffin was promptly the focus of the audience and panellists’ anger, and received what was widely considered a mauling from those around him.

Outside the studio, anti-fascist protestors failed to stop the show being filmed, although around 30 managed to burst past the central gates of Television Centre.